Capitals

Quick Links

John Carlson expected to return Thursday after returning to top pair in practice

John Carlson expected to return Thursday after returning to top pair in practice

John Carlson has reclaimed his usual spot on the Capitals’ blue line, which probably means he’ll be good to go for Game 1.

Carlson missed the final four games of the regular season with a lower body injury and skated as an extra during Tuesday’s practice.

On Wednesday, however, Carlson was back on the top pair alongside Karl Alzner.

After the hour-long practice, Carlson said he felt better than he did Tuesday but still stopped short of saying he’ll definitely suit up against the Maple Leafs on Thursday.  

“It’s a process,” Carlson said. “I’m part of the decision but I’m not any decision-maker. I’m just doing everything I possibly can to get better and be stronger. But, yeah, I feel good.”

RELATED: 5 players to watch in Caps vs. Leafs series

Carlson said his focus the past two days has been regaining his timing.

“I’ve been away from the team a little bit, so I think that’s the biggest thing, feeling everything out and getting back into the swing of things as far as passing and breakouts, all that stuff,” he said. “Not that it’s a huge deal—I think I can overcome that—but certainly that’s something I was concentrating on.”

Coach Barry Trotz said Carlson’s status for Game 1 had not changed.

“No, same,” he said. “You’ll have to come tomorrow.”

Asked if he thought Carlson looked better in his second practice back with the team, Trotz went into playoff mode.

“I don’t know, how did he look?” Trotz asked jokingly before adding: “No, he was fine. He was fine the last two days. Looked fine.”

Trotz continued: “He’s been a big part in the last three years since I’ve been here. He’s been a high producer. He’s been a quality defenseman. …He’s a big part of what we do.”

The Caps were already huge favorites in this series. Getting their ice-time leader back into the fold only figures to increase the gap between the teams.

MORE CAPITALS: Capitals vs. Maple Leafs round one preview

Quick Links

Capitals Faceoff Podcast: What does the future hold?

caps-faceoff-101.png
USA TODAY Sports

Capitals Faceoff Podcast: What does the future hold?

In this week's mailbag podcast, JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir answer several questions about the Caps' prospects and Hershey.

How does the future look on the farm? Plus, they talk about potential weaknesses, their biggest surprises and more!

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.

MORE CAPS NEWS:

Quick Links

Capitals Faceoff podcast: Barry Trotz has his work cut out for him

islanders.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Capitals Faceoff podcast: Barry Trotz has his work cut out for him

Barry Trotz is now the head coach of the New York Islanders, a team that missed the playoffs and just lost their franchise player. So how does next season look on Long Island?

In the long summer months, the Capitals Faceoff Podcast will take a look at some of the Caps' competition next season. In this episode, it's the New York Islanders. Brian Compton of NHL.com joins Rob Carlin and Tarik El-Bashir to talk about what Trotz brings to Long Island and what's left to work with.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.

MORE CAPS NEWS: